Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, rued an “authoritarian, demagogic president appealing to a base that has the Republican Party, so far, held hostage.” Yet he then insisted the press must be “rigidly reportorial, not go beyond what we know” and not be “provocative.”
And he soon celebrated how “we have seen, in the last year, the greatest reporting on the presidency of the United States, by a great number of news organizations that we’ve seen in the last 50, 60 years.”
From the Sunday, March 18 Reliable Sources on CNN:
CARL BERNSTEIN: But in this cultural civil war, in this cold civil war, there is real question as Jeff Greenfield has said today, of whether or not it’s possible for a legitimate investigation to prevail as opposed to an authoritarian, demagogic president appealing to a base that has the Republican Party, so far, held hostage.
HOST BRIAN STELTER: So, Carl, what is the role of the press as you see it in this difficult moment?
BERNSTEIN: To stay reportorial, to be really rigidly reportorial, not to go beyond what we know, and it’s very difficult because when you say that the president of the United States lies and lies repeatedly, that’s very difficult to listen to, particularly if you are a supporter of the president and at the same time, it is a reportorial, demonstrable fact that everyone has to deal with here, and it’s true of this whole story. But I think that the less we show ourselves as provocative, if we can keep our tone to being as reportorial as we can, and at the same time, be strict in terms of pointing out what we know, what is fact, what is speculation.
We have seen, in the last year, the greatest reporting on the presidency of the United States, by a great number of news organizations that we’ve seen in the last 50, 60 years in this country, by the New York Times, by the Washington Post, by the Wall Street Journal whose owner, Rupert Murdoch, is a supporter of the president, by some right wing outfits as well.
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